In a hard fought battle that went a full five games, Team Secret defeated Chinese powerhouse Vici Gaming to win the Nanyang Championship. The Singapore-based LAN event is the largest of its kind in the South-East Asia region, and the last major Dota 2 tournament before the Frankfurt Major begins on November 10th. The tournament featured ten teams, eight of which will also be participating at Frankfurt, making it an incredibly strong field when play began last week.
After both SEA qualifiers (Fnatic and Mineski) were eliminated in the group stages, the local fans in attendance were left searching for a foreign team to support. While the Chinese teams received a great deal of fan appreciation, there was also a sizable fan base for the European-based Team Secret, who entered Nanyang as favorites to win the event, but who had finished second in their group to the Chinese EHOME squad. Secret caught fire in the playoffs, however, going undefeated until the Grand Finals.
With this win, Team Secret adds another LAN title to their MLG World Finals victory last month in New Orleans, and establishes themselves as the team to beat going into Frankfurt. Vici Gaming also acquitted themselves well with a second-place showing, after not even being invited to MLG. Meanwhile, EHOME finished third after being unable to capitalize on their strong group stage performance, and the newly-formed Team Liquid, a group of highly-skilled European pros who were sponsored by the eSports giant just weeks ago, finished fourth in their debut LAN as a team (Liquid, however, failed to qualify for Frankfurt out of a strong European field, and will not be going to the Major).
With Nanyang complete, all eyes turn to the upcoming Frankfurt Major, the largest event left on the Dota 2 calendar for 2015. Can Secret maintain their dominance? Will TI5 Champions Evil Geniuses win their first tournament since August? Or will another team lay claim to the trophy? We’ll have to wait and find out.